Nerve is a game of dares. The bigger the dare, the greater the reward. Vee is a theater geek who decides to play after some fallout between her and her best friend Sydney. The dares start out fairly harmless, although embarassing, but as you would expect they quickly morph into something else altogether. I like the idea of this in general and have read similar books such as Need by Joelle Charbonneau and Panic by Lauren Oliver. So I guess I'm predisposed to like this sort of thing. The problem with Nerve was that I just didn't feel a connection with the story.
Nerve is also a movie and that's frankly how I know about the book. I thought the movie looked good and I always like to read the book first if I can. Plus again the premise. Vee's not bad, other than the fact that she feels like she's in the shadow of Sydney, who is of course hotter and more popular. Why did she pick me to be her friend, Vee wonders at one point. Seen that before? But other than that Vee is not a bad character, and I felt for her a bit. Something happened in her past that has everyone really cautious around her, and it's basically a misunderstanding. That was an intriguing angle, but the decisions Vee made I just couldn't wrap my head around.
Her reasons for playing are pretty selfish and even though I know this is a teen protagonist, I just couldn't get behind her choices. And when everything goes wrong over and over she keeps thinking why did I do this, what a bad decision. Then shortly thereafter she goes for it again. So that lost me. I also had a hard time suspending disbelief- which was not a problem for me with Need or Panic. For some reason this one just didn't seem as compelling to me, I don't even know why.And this is not to say Nerve is a bad book- I think the writing is fine and plenty of people will probably love it, it just wasn't for me.
The supporting players were pretty good. We have Tommy the geeky guy who has a thing for Vee (and she's totally oblivious), and then Ian the hot guy who she gets paired with (are uber- prominent cheekbones that much of a thing???) and I felt genuinely nervous for the characters as they went about their dares- so in that sense the writing is effective.
Ugh, the "why did she want to be friends with me?" thing is annoying. I don't know, maybe because not everyone in the world chooses their friends based on attractiveness and popularity? But I just can't deal with super insecure characters in general. And the way she kept thinking it was a terrible idea but then kept doing the game anyway... yeah, I don't think I'd like her very much.ReplyDelete
I don't know, I do like cheek bones lol, but not in way that I would obsess over it? I feel like that's the type of thing I would only subconsciously notice.
That's too bad it was hard for you to suspend your disbelief, but at least it had some good writing to make you nervous and whatnot.
Great review Greg - it sounds like a decent book but just not something I would enjoy reading. I need MCs that I can really connect with, character development and not so much of overused YA tropes. Am I getting more picky as a reader? Probably, but there's still great YA books out there that are unique, original and well written.ReplyDelete
I've been reading all the reviews of this because the movie is out here with the weirdest, most vague trailer. Reviews of the book, I trust more than the movies lol! thanks :)ReplyDelete
Hmm now I'm on the fence about reading this! Like you, I knew about the movie first and I LOVE the concept. But heroines who keep making TSTL decisions, all while saying, "This is dumb, I shouldn't do this" can rely grate on me. Have you seen the movie yet? Curious to know how that fares. Great review!ReplyDelete
I don't know if I will like this book but I certainly enjoyed your review! Lol, I don't know about cheekbones being a thing? Prominent cheekbones sound a little skeletal to me? I might be imagining them wrong though. Great review!ReplyDelete
I've read a few books where characters go on and on about cheekbones. Maybe I'm just jealous because mine aren't especially prominent but I just don't see the appeal! TSTL actions and really selfish characters are definitely a big flaw but I love the concept.ReplyDelete
I don't know that I've ever noticed a guy's cheekbones before, especially when I was a teenager so that's weird to me.ReplyDelete
I think this book would frustrate the heck out of me so I've stayed away from it and after reading your review, I think I'm more cemented in that decision. I don't think I could handle Vee and her wondering why the best friend was best friends with her.
I've got Need and Panic on the stacks, think I will stick with them.ReplyDelete
I... think I can live without reading this, tbh. I have heard some similar things, and frankly, I don't watch enough movies anyway, so I will just go ahead and watch the movie. Kind of sounds like one of those rare books that would be better onscreen anyway. You did remind me that I want to read Need at some point too hahha. Sorry that this didn't work for you, but great review!!ReplyDelete
I agree with you about Vee being insecure and all of that. The movie's challenges are bettet in my opinion so you should watch it ! There are many differences and I think I liked the movie better.ReplyDelete
Great review ! Oh and even if I don't comment all of your posts, I still read them ! I didn't want you to think I forgot about your blog or something haha
Well I think I will be passing on this one then. I really can't stand when I have a hard time suspending disbelief for a book and also Vee sounds really obnoxious. Those alone will put me off a book completely. I'm sorry this one wasn't a bit better for you.ReplyDelete
Great review, to bad it wasn't better. I might still put it on my maybe list. :)ReplyDelete
I don't think I'd like this one personally - your comments about not connecting with the story combined with your issues with the main character ring true to me. I think I'd have the same issues you did here^^ Though the premise is intriguing, I'd read other books that seem to have done it better than this one. Great review nonetheless! xxReplyDelete
The set-up does sound interesting, but that's too bad you didn't full connect with it. And the less popular person in the shadow of a more popular one does seem a bit overdone. And with her realizing it's a bad decision and then doing it again does sem hard to get behind. Great review!ReplyDelete